Sunday 19th July 2020

19 Jul 2020 by O'Connor Uniting Church in: Reflections

Pentecost 7

Bible Readings
First reading: Genesis 28:10-19a
Psalm: Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
Second reading: Romans 8:12-25
Gospel: Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43


Right from the beginning of history there have been two seeds or two generations of people – the righteous and the wicked. We find our place in either group not by birth, by fate or by our good works but by our response to the grace of God that He shows toward us in unique ways.

God desires everyone to be saved and to become His children. Each person will ultimately choose to be either for God or against God and will be treated accordingly.

However, in the meantime it is vital that we not get caught up in determining who is IN and who is OUT. God alone knows the human heart and He will be their judge, not us. Wheat and weeds look very similar…until the time of harvest when their true nature is revealed. In fact, Jesus hinted that we may be surprised who is in and who is out.

We ourselves are a mixture of wheat and weeds – people in desperate need of the grace of God. This should cause us to be humble in our approach to other people.


Please pray for

  • the re-opening of our church for worship and the safety and good health of our congregation - first service scheduled for 19th July
  •  for all those in our church family we know of with health concerns
  • the community and faith groups using our facilities.
  • wisdom for the Victorian Government and all national leaders to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria and its threat to other states & territories
  • patience, understanding, vigilance and commitment by all to observe Covid-19 restrictions


Our People and Our Stories
July 2020 - HOPE

From Julie...

Two amazing prayers by Stormie Omartian from her book “The Power of a Praying Life”.
Stormie Omartian is from the United States and is a best selling Christian author who has sold over 13 million books!

  1. Lord, when I pray for a person or a situation and don’t see changes, help me to NOT put my hope in answered prayer, but rather to put my hope in You, the One who answers my prayers. Where I have put my hope and expectations on people and circumstances, I confess as a lack of faith in You and Your word. I take comfort in Your word and Your promises. I trust I you, the God of hope........ who has given me every reason to hope.
    Help me to see that having hope is a big issue, and that it is a clear indicator of the condition of my heart.
    In Your presence is where my heart has found a home.                               I LOVE THIS 🙏

  2. Lord, today I refuse all depression, anxiety, fear, dread , anger and silence, for I know they are not from You. By the power of your holy spirit I resist the temptation to see the bad in life, and I ask you to open my eyes to the good. Enable me to sense your presence at all times, no matter what is happening. My life is in your hands and Your life sustains me. May your joy rise in my heart so fully that it crowds out all that is not of You. I pray that you would evaporate any heaviness in me. Enable me to breathe the fresh air of Your spirit blowing the dark clouds away. Thank You that you are my light.”


From Lesley...

I wrote the following poem “Unseen Enemy” when our experience of Covid-19 was unfolding. The situation is still changing and is still alarming – Hope is important.

Unseen Enemy

We heard the word ‘pandemic’
in news from across the sea
Now it has burst into our world
and become a reality.

Out of China came first reports-
a new virus was quickly spreading.
With no immunity and no vaccine
there was fear where it was heading.

Two new hospitals were hurriedly built
for the many victims infected.
China’s leaders took strong measures
To keep its people protected.

Many people sadly died
but many more survived,
until the infection rate was slowed
And living hope revived.

However the unseen enemy had flown
to countries across the world
overshadowing unwary travellers
with invisible wings unfurled.

It became entrenched on a cruise ship
that docked at a port in Japan,
and officials decided to impose
an onboard quarantine plan.

Alas their strategy foundered
with passengers daily infected.
The unseen enemy foiled their plan
finding ways to spread undetected.

The enemy crept into many lands
Nations struggled against its spread
and governments came to understand
the battle that lay ahead.

In Australia a touring cruise ship
was an early source of infection
when ailing passengers disembarked
without a medical inspection.

As the virus spread in our country
emergencies were foreseen.
Our leaders instructed all to prepare
for two weeks quarantine.

When a lockdown was declared
with only essential travel,
many prayed for peace and help
to be strong and not unravel.

A rush of panic buying
emptied supermarket shelves
as an anxious public stocked supplies
for their families and themselves.

Meanwhile from countries overseas
alarming reports were to come
of huge numbers of sick and dying
and we feared many here would succumb.

Italy, Spain and Britain
and then the United States
were overwhelmed with infections
and disturbing daily death rates.

Shortages of medical supplies
became a growing concern.
Heroic health workers worked on to save lives,
some lost their own lives in return.

We pray that God’s light will triumph
as we follow health guidance each day.
Hope is increasing in our hearts
that time will this horror allay.

Hope lights the way to our freedom
Hope still a faint glow like the moon
Hope to be free from this harsh enemy
Hope will shine like the sun one day soon!

Lesley Jean Irvine  April 2020